Statewide Transportation Planning under ISTEA: A New Framework for Decisionmaking
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Statewide Transportation Planning under ISTEA: A New Framework for Decisionmaking

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    Passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) marked a new era in transportation investment. For the preceding thirty-five years, the Federal government directed much of its surface transportation investment to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. This 45,000 mile system links the States to each other and also provides safe and efficient connections between urban and rural ares. The federal government also invested heavily in transit system construction and maintenance during this period. When Congress enacted ISTEA it recognized that the dram of a nationwide system of interconnected, high-capacity highways had been realized, that transit system construction had been completed in many years, and that a new era in multimodal transportation investment had begun. ISTEA presents a vision for the future that protects the extensive investment we have made and that emphasizes enhancing the transportation system's efficiency, monitoring and improving its performance, and ensuring that future investments reflect consideration of their economic, environmental, and quality-of-life impacts. In order to make that vision a reality, ISTEA calls for sound transportation planning and emphasizes the need to broadly consider the impacts of transportation investments.
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